Casual Pants or Dress Pants? How to Pick Your Trousers

You’ve taken a shower, you know what you’re going to have for breakfast—your morning is going by right on schedule. Then it comes time to dress yourself, and you get stuck. Dress pants or casual khakis? Denim or wool? Picking your pants in the morning shouldn’t have to be this hard. But if you stick to a few tips and rules, picking the trousers to suit your outfit can be a cinch.

When to Pick Tailored Dress Trousers

High-quality men’s tailored trousers may or may not be your everyday go-to item, depending on the type of job you have. But whether or not you’re used to wearing tailored trousers, it’s good to keep in mind the situations in which they best suit you:

  • Important office work. Job interviews, business presentations, sales meetings—you might not have to wear your best tailored dress trousers every day at your job, but there will always be certain occasions in which looking your best isn’t just a good idea, but mandatory.
  • Special occasions. Giving a speech, leading a meeting, attending holiday services or funerals: sometimes, anything less than tailored dress trousers will look out of place.

Picking your very best tailored dress trousers is easy. But what about those “in between” situations in which you feel stuck?

When to Pick Casual Pants or Khakis

The term “casual pants” shouldn’t refer to the most casual pants possible—then, we’d be talking about pajamas and sweatpants. Instead, casual pants refers to pants with enough versatility to dress up or down depending on the situation:

  • Ordinary office work. You can pair a blazer and a tie with casual khakis for a dressed up look, or simply wear a sweater for a “casual Friday” look. Either way, khakis like Cotton/Poly Dress Khakis will provide the foundation for your outfit.
  • Running errands or attending social events. Attending a dinner party after work? Meeting up on a first date or catching up with an old friend over a drink? Dress these same pants down with a V-neck sweater and a button-down shirt and you’ll look effortlessly “put together” without being too dressy.

Want to make it even more casual? We have options there as well.

Dressing for Comfort over Style

Sometimes, you’ll just want to be comfortable. If that’s the case, you’ll have plenty of options:

  • Khaki shorts are great for warm weather—and even cool weather, when you dress them up with a long-sleeve option up top.
  • Corduroy trousers are another versatile option that can be dressed up or down, giving you maximum comfort when the mercury dips.

Of course, you don’t always have to sacrifice style when you opt for comfort. You’ll find most of the options here have a generous helping of each. But when you do know how to pair your trousers to the situation, you’ll find building an outfit that much easier. Simply choose the pants to fit the occasion and build from there—you’ll do fine.